IBM Mainframe Users Unprepared For GDPR: Study

IBM mainframe customers are hardly up to speed with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), judging by a new study.

Macro 4 surveyed 55 executives at the GSE UK Conference for IBM mainframe users this month.

Of that sample, 25% said they are now compliant, and 31% said they are not. Another 40% don’t know, and 4% are unfamiliar with GDPR.

Macro 4 notes that IBM Z systems are respected for their security. But most of the respondents see that their mainframe security needs attention, it adds. Only 7% feel there is no need for improvement.

Of those polled, 80% cite increasingly sophisticated cyber crime as a reason, and 67% cite the fact that mainframes are vulnerable because they are more connected to the outside world. Eighty-six percent see rules such as GDPR as a reason for being more conscious of security.

Despite their lack of preparedness, many firms are aware of security measures being championed by IBM and other vendors.

For example, 96% see data encryption is an important way of securing the mainframe. IBM has also focused on this method.

In addition, 67% see multi-factor authentication as a key method  Moreover, 58% believe in data minimization -- the practice of limiting the personal data collected on consumers strictly to what is necessary for a given purpose.

“Far from being a closed off environment, today’s mainframe is typically connected to the internet, because it runs important business applications that need to be accessed by millions of enterprise users and customers across the globe,” states Keith Banham, mainframe research and development manager at Macro 4.

He adds: “Anyone who has ever booked a flight, purchased insurance online or used internet banking is likely to have interacted with a mainframe somewhere along the line.”

Macro 4, a division of UNICOM Global, is a provider of digital software solutions for businesses.


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